AMS Accreditation Standards

To become accredited by the American Montessori Society, your school must meet specific, rigorous standards. These standards define and demonstrate the quality and integrity of your program, and address all areas of your school’s educational program and operations.

While meeting and maintaining these standards is required only of our accredited schools, we hold them up as best practices for all our member schools.


Each of the 9 accreditation standards, below, must be met through compliance with specific criteria, as detailed in “AMS School Accreditation Standards & Criteria.”

Standard 1: Philosophy, Mission, and Vision

The quality Montessori school’s mission and vision are student-centered and guided by Montessori philosophy. The school establishes and communicates a shared philosophy that informs all facets of the school’s culture, daily operations, and instructional decisions

Standard 2: Governance, Leadership, and Continuous Improvement (Strategic Plan)

The quality Montessori school establishes, implements, monitors, and refines a strategic planning process to affect continuous school improvement. It ensures its effectiveness through mission- and vision-aligned governance and leadership.

Standard 3: Teaching and Learning (Educational Nature)

A quality Montessori school implements a Montessori curriculum based on clear and measurable AMS learner outcomes: academic preparation, autonomy and independence, confidence and competence, global citizenship, intrinsic motivation, social responsibility, and spiritual awareness/cosmic education. Students actively engage in the learning process, exhibit joy in learning, and apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations.

Standard 4: Documenting and Using Results (Learner Outcomes)

The quality Montessori school enacts an ongoing assessment system that monitors and documents learner outcomes that are based in equitable practices and uses these results to improve educational effectiveness.

Standard 5: Personnel

The quality Montessori school has policies and practices in place to ensure that employees are well qualified and are assigned professional responsibilities based on their qualifications (i.e., professional preparation, ability, knowledge, and experience). Employees are provided support through ongoing evaluation and professional development and are sufficient in number to support the school’s mission and vision. The school states and follows fair, ethical, and non-discriminatory employment practices.

Standard 6: Facility Resources

The quality Montessori school provides facilities, sites, and equipment that meet optimum health and safety standards conducive to a safe learning environment in alignment with the mission of the school.

Standard 7: Finances and Stability

The quality Montessori school maintains strong and prudent financial management practices and adequate fiscal resources to support its mission and vision.

Standard 8: Records, Resources, and Support Systems

The quality Montessori school has appropriate documentation, training, and human resources to meet applicable federal, state, and local regulations, assure health and safety of faculty/staff and students, and enable all students to achieve expectations for student learning.

Standard 9: Stakeholder Communication and Relationships

The quality Montessori school fosters effective and accessible communication and relationships with and among its stakeholders, with intentional inclusion of historically marginalized groups.

Melanie Thiesse

AMS Senior Director of Membership & School Accreditation

I get it—accreditation can be daunting. There are many standards and criteria, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. AMS is here to help you along the path. If you have any questions about accreditation, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My team and I are ready to help you understand the accreditation process.

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